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Greening Your Kids With These Field Trips28 August 2011
Field trips are meant to be educational while fun. But field trips aren't just for schools; you can take your kids on field trips too. You can even grab some other family members and friends and head out on an eco-friendly field trip to places your school wouldn't dream of visiting.
If your kids think that trash just disappears, then it might be time to take a family field trip to the landfill. There's nothing like the sight of that big huge hole half-filled with junk to make an impression on the younger generation. While everyone is plugging their noses, take a few moments to point out all the items in the landfill that don't have to be there - cardboard, newspapers, old food, perfectly good-looking furniture, old computers, etc. Explain how everything gets crushed down and that even things that would normally decompose, like food, have a hard time doing decomposing after getting squished together with everything else.
Likewise, you can take your kids on a tour of the local recycling center. They can see firsthand how items are separated and sent off on different conveyor belts - it's pretty cool to watch. Explain to them what will happen to the recycled products and how plastics will be turned into park benches and new decks and that paper will be shredded and mashed and processed into new paper.
If you can't attend either field trip, rent the videos. There are numerous videos today that explain recycling from beginning to end, and other videos that show where your trash goes after it leaves your house. Some of these videos can be viewed online.
If your kids like the gross-me-out factor of the landfill field trip, then they'll love a tour of the sewage treatment plant. Can you believe they actually give tours? Water treatment facilities also give tours, check yours out and give your kids a chance to see what happens to their "sewage" or where the water goes besides down the drain.
Another great field trip is to an organic farm. If you don't grow any vegetables yourself and you don't keep animals, going to a farm is a real eye-opener for children. Let them see where the eggs really come from, and that it's not the grocery store. Show them how the carrots grow underground, are pulled up, cleaned and cut up, and taste oh-so-good. With any luck the farm will have a u-pick fruit area where they can pick blueberries, strawberries, or blackberries. They'll appreciate sampling the delicious fruit as they pick it!
Some communities allow field trips to their facilities that handle cast-off goods, giving them new life. They even let the kids try their hands at repurposing items so they don't end up in the landfill. Trash to treasure is the theme here.
Check out what your community has to offer in guided eco-friendly field trips for kids or create your own field trip by directly contacting an organization or farm owner. You'll be amazed at what is readily available out there to teach kids about where our precious resources go.